458th Airlift Squadron [458th AS]
The 458th Airlift Squadron was activated as the 458th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), on 1 Jul 1942. It was based starting on 6 July 1942 at Salt Lake City AAB, UT, flying the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress and Consolidated B-24 Liberator while being assigned to the 330th Bombardment Group. The 458th was tasked with replacement training. THe squadron subsequently relocated to Alamogordo, NM (1 August 1942); Biggs Field, TX (1 September 1942); Alamogordo, NM (29 November 1942); Biggs Field, TX (5 April 1943).
The squadron was redesignated as the 458th Bombardment Squadron (Very Heavy). on 1 April 1944 at Walked AAF, KS. It was reassigned to the 330th Bombardment Group. The 458th transitioned at that time to the Boeing B-29 Superfortress. The 458th moved to Dalhart AAF, TX (25 May 1944) and to Walker AAF, KS (1 August 1944-7 January 1945) before deploying overseas to North Field, Guam (18 February-21 November 1945). There, the squadron saw combat in the Western Pacific, earning in the process a Campaign Streamers for Air Offensive, Japan and for the Western Pacific as well as Distinguished Unit Citations (Japan, 3-9 July 1945; and Tokyo, Japan, 8 Aug 1945). The unit returned to the United States to Camp Anza, CA, c. 22 where it inactivated on 27 December 1945.
The squadron reactivated on 12 October 1966 as the 458th Tactical Airlift Squadron and assigned to Pacific Air Forces, 483d Tactical Airlift Wing. Flying the DeHavilland C-7 Caribou, the squadron was stationed at Cam Ranh Bay AB, South Vietnam, performing Tactical Airlift in Southeast Asia. For its participation to operations there, the 458th earned 13 Campaign Streamers(Vietnam Air Offensive; Vietnam Air Offensive, Phase II; Vietnam Air Offensive, Phase III; Vietnam Air/Ground; Vietnam Air Offensive, Phase IV; TET 69 Counter-offensive; Vietnam Summer-Fall 1969; Vietnam Winter-Spring, 1970; Sanctuary Counteroffensive; Southwest Monsoon; Commando Hunt V; Commando Hunt VI; Commando Hunt VII), as well as 2 Presidential Unit Citations(21 January-12 May '68; 1 April-30 June '70). The squadron also received the Air Force Outstanding Unit Awards with Combat "V" device(1 January-30 April '67; 1 May '67-30 April '68; 1 July '70-31 December '71) and the Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross w/ Palm(1 January '67-1 March '72). The squadron inactivated on 1 March 1972.
The squadron was reactivated on 1 April 1975 as the 1401st Military Airlift Squadron (Later consolidated and redesignated 458th Airlift Squadron) at Scott AFB, IL. Flying the North American CT-39 Sabreliner, the unit was assigned to the 89th Military Airlift Wing, and later, to the 375th Aeromedical (later 375th Military Airlift) Wing. The squadron was tasked with conducting military airlift operations worldwide; a mission changed in 1978 to that of conducting worldwide aeromedical evacuation. In 1984, the squadron transitioned to the C-12 Huron, which it flew until 1991, and to the Gates C-21A Learjet, 1984-present. The 458th received during that period the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award (1 July-31 December 1975; 1 January 1976-31 January 1977; 1 July 1981-30 June 1983; 1 July 1986-31 July 1988).
The 458th was redesignated as the 458th Airlift Squadron on 1 December 1991 and assigned to the 375th Airlift Wing's Operations Group, flying the Gates C-21A Learjet. As part of operations in the Persian Gulf, the squadron provided airlift in Southwest Asia, from August 1990-May 1991.
The mission of the 458th Airlift Squadron is to season first assignment pilots for major weapon system follow-on assignments. The squadron is also tasked with providing first-class operational support airlift and aeromedical evacuation for war, peacetime, and contingency requirements.
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